Strengthening Farmers' Financial Resources Helps the Environment

The farmer with the financial ability to manage the farm’s resources effectively and intelligently is the best steward of the environment .

Published: September 7, 2001
Updated: September 7, 2001

The best steward of the environment is the farmer with the financial ability to manage the farm’s resources effectively and intelligently.

Sending down one-size-fits-all conservation and environmental plans and attempting to micro-manage water management, nutrient use and other aspects of farming from Washington, DC, will not encourage producers to do better than the lowest common environmental denominator.

The Agriculture Committee bill will return financial balance to individual farms, enabling producers to invest more of their resources into conservation and environmental measures on their farms and ranches.

The bill contains appropriate stewardship incentives within the commodity programs and then helps ensure that individual producers have the financial ability to implement these valuable conservation measures.

House Bill Makes A Substantial Contribution to the Conservation Title

The House Farm Bill as passed out of Committee devotes more than $16 billion over 10 years to soil, water and wildlife programs.

This represents over a 75 percent increase in baseline spending for conservation efforts.

Conservation Programs’ Traditional Role Can Be Expanded

Conservation programs can be used to assist livestock producers in complying with the new Combined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) regulations.

  • Many feel that agriculture can play a roll in carbon sequestration as the debate on global warming continues.
  • The House Farm Bill provides resources toward these goals.

Keep Perspective - Farm Income Must Be the Primary Focus

Farmers make their living from the land. It is in their best interest to observe environment-friendly practices. Providing cost share assistance for land improvements and economic incentives for retiring marginal land has proven successful. Providing reasonable funds and resources available to these time-tested programs is worthwhile.

  • However, traditional commodity programs must be strengthened to assist farmers as they compete in growing global economy.
  • Without an adequate commodity title, Congress will be forced to continue addressing farm income needs annually on an ad hoc basis or risk losing America’s farm families that provide the majority of the country’s food and fiber.